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Different ways of regulating conflicts

By Messenger Staff
Monday, February 21
The Georgian leadership has already defined its approach to regulating the Abkhazian and Tskhinvali regional conflicts. However, there are some other concepts being suggested, mainly among foreign analysts and diplomats. Tbilisi has stated that Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region are Russian occupied territories but Tbilisi is not going to use force to restore territorial integrity of the country. Tbilisi is ready to start dialogue with Moscow without pre conditions while Georgia has also elaborated a special strategy and action plan which would facilitate the involvement of both sides maintaining connections. This should eventually lead to further integration of people divided artificially by the Russian occupation. Currently, Georgia wants to establish the term occupation worldwide in regards to these territories in the political vocabulary as well as official documents. Georgia thinks that the process of de occupation should receive support from the west. Currently, the Georgian government asks the west for its assistance in starting dialogue with Moscow. The Kremlin however excludes starting any kind of dialogue with the current leadership of Georgia.

So, these are the main highlights of the Georgian position. However there are no distinct strategies as to how to realize this plan. On one hand, the west has mostly adopted the term occupation in regards of the territories, on the other hand there are no clear cut methods as to how to put pressure on Russia to de occupy these territories. Moreover, the strategy of the Georgian government towards the occupied territories is not functioning in reality. So, under these circumstances some analysts suggest that the Georgian position should be altered. Analyst Paata Zakareishvili thinks that there are some very good initiatives in the state strategy towards occupied territories, however this strategy should have been better “packaged”. He suggests that Georgia should sign a special document of non use of force with Sokhumi and Tskhinvali, not with states but with Abkhazian and Ossetian sides. Frankly, this kind of approach means extra concessions from the Georgian side and it could be interpreted by Russia, as well as others, as recognition of these entities as independent entities and it is unlikely that this would yield any progress in conflict regulation.

Sometimes, the Georgian leadership is advised to change the rhetoric which it is exercising against Moscow. Very often, Georgian officials are rather aggressive and therefore they give ground to Russia to react in a similarly unfriendly manner. This kind of aggressive rhetoric from the Georgian side often creates an obstacle for the west to put pressure on Moscow. There are different options suggested by different foreign experts. One is a plan containing several paragraphs. This includes Russia’s commitment of non use of force against Georgia, signing a document between Georgia and Abkhazia/South Ossetian administrations on the safety of the people and humanitarian initiatives. This would not jeopardize the status of the territories. Next comes the modification policy between Georgia and Russia. It is suggested that the Georgian side should stop using aggressive rhetoric against Moscow. It is also advised that Georgia recalls and annuls the law on occupied territories. So, to summarize, we should admit that all the options suggested by different analysts and experts advise that Georgia should make extra concessions. This is a controversial direction to take as Georgian politicians remember very well that the previous Georgian administration under President Shevardnadze made many concessions which eventually yielded nothing positive for Georgia.